Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fat kids mean primary school uniforms up to size 20

PRIMARY school students are stretching school uniform shops with orders for dresses up to size 20 as Australia's obesity crisis worsens.
Uniform providers say children are getting fatter younger and their parents are demanding bigger sizes so their offspring do not look out of place in the schoolyard.
In secondary schools the situation is more extreme with reports that a 15-year-old girl had to ask for a size 32 dress and boys' blazers are expanding up to 130cm across the chest, or 6XL.
Nutrition experts have warned tailors to continue extending their patterns because the obesity problem was expected to get worse in the next decade.
The number of overweight and obese children has increased from 10 per cent in the 1980s to more than 30 per cent today, Deakin University researchers say.
Dressmakers say children's expanding waist lines were causing confusion, as standard measurements have been changed to deal with super-sized students. Some uniform providers were afraid to make public comment about students' expanding girth for fear of upsetting customers.
"Primary school students are getting bigger, earlier," a uniform seller who asked not to be named said.
"We used to sell dresses for primary school students up to 16, but we've had to go up to size 20."
Beleza School Uniforms, which has 15 shops across Melbourne, has noticed demand for bigger sizes increasing in the past two years.
Frankston store manager Margaret Magill said the company had increased its range of school dresses from a maximum of 22 to 26 to make sure children were in correct uniform. But special orders still had to be made for some students who could not find anything that fitted, she said.
Jo Kellock, executive director of the Council of Textiles and Fashion Industries of Australia, has called for a national census of waistlines to come up with new standard sizing.


3wheelcruiser said...

This is also a problem in the UK. I was surprised that it is a problem in Australia as well, as I always perceived Oz as a fit and healthy place. That has certainly been my experience from visits there. But I guess the problem of overweight kids is a trend in all developing countries.

A similar story appeared in the UK press just recently and is increasing evidence of a worrying trend here as well. Quite plainly, in the UK at least, there is not going to be any easy or quick solution to this problem for our nation as a whole without probably some heavy-duty government intervention and major changes at the societal level.

However, as individual parents there is a responsibility on us to do all we can to make sure our children have the right diet and take proper exercise, and we can take steps to make sure that happens, hard as that might be, since as parents we will be fighting against all the temptations and habits that kids have today that are making them so overweight.

One of the ways we can help our children is by finding enjoyable forms of exercise for them. We have provided some ideas on this in our blog at, where the latest post is on this very subject under the title "A Triton with the School Uniform?"

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